Literary magazines can be a source of original fiction, poetry, essays and non-fiction. Selected titles are

Recent issues of some popular titles are on display in the Main Reading Room. 

Selected titles are also available online through Informit, by visiting our eResources portal and searching for Informit under the Browse eResources tab. In Informit, see under the ‘Browse publications’ tab for a list of titles.

Tilting at Windmills

Tilting at windmills : the literary magazine in Australia 1968-2012 by Phillip Edmonds

From the cover: "Australian literary magazines...have very often been ahead of their time and some of the agendas they have pursued have become 'central' to representations where once they were marginal. Broadly, 'little' magazines have often been more influential than their small circulations would first indicate, and the author's argument is that they have played a valuable role in the promotion of Australian literature."

Fairfax Corporation, Four young boys reading books on top of a stone wall during health week at school, New South Wales, ca. 1930, nla.obj-162139840  

How do you find short stories?

Start with the Library Catalogue

  • choose subject from the drop-down list  
  • Type your keywords [for example 'Short stories'] in the search bar

Or choose author from the drop-down list and search for individuals, e.g. Astley, Thea or Bail, Murray.

Selected works:

Where can you find stories in our online databases?

AustLit provides authoritative information on creative and critical works of Australian literature and on more than 700,000 Australian authors and literary organisations. You can find AustLit by visiting our eResources portal and searching for this database under the Browse eResources tab.

In the AustLit database, you can search for an author name in the search box. In the menu on the results page, look under 'Form' and select 'Short stories'. Some may have links to an online version.

If you are a registered member of the National Library you can access AustLit from home.

Case Study

Finding a story in a collection or anthology

Have these short stories by author Alan Marshall been published?

The Donkey's Hind Legs

Kisses for a Quid

A Little Son

We can use the AustLit database to find stories by Alan Marshall.

1. Type 'Alan Marshall' in the Search box. The first author (in blue) has the most published items, so we can start here by selecting the author's name.

2. Select 'Works by' in the menu, then select 'Short Story' at the right of the page to see a list of 136 stories.

3. The list is alphabetical, so we can scroll through the pages to find the titles:   

  • The Donkey's Hind Legs appears in: These Are My People : Selected Short Stories
  • Kisses for a Quid is not listed, however Kisses a Quid a Piece appears in several collections including These Are My People
  • A Little Son appears in: These Are My People : Selected Short Stories 

AustLit also shows other collections in which Alan Marshall's stories were published. The Donkey's Hind Legs is not in any other collection.

4. A search of Trove shows a number of libraries around Australia where These Are My People : Selected Short Stories is available, or if necessary we can request an interlibrary loan.



The best Australian stories : a ten-year collection, Collingwood, Vic. : Black Inc, 2011

This book takes a decade of Best Australian Stories and selects the most outstanding short fiction by the country’s finest writers. These stories range widely in style and subject matter: there is drama and comedy, subtlety and extravagance, tales of suspense, love, fantasy, grief and revenge. Together they showcase the strength and diversity of Australian fiction at its very best.

Find this book in a library near you.


Australian short story writers - A Wikipedia page which lists Australian writers of short stories who have articles on Wikipedia

Spineless Wonders - Explore the site, especially under Categories and Archives, for Australian short stories and writers

Not sure where to start?